The Saturday Question: What Pregnancy Gear Is Necessary—and What’s Not?

We’ve talked a lot about baby gear—what to get, what not to get, what to get used, what to get organic. But what about all the stuff you need before the baby is even born? Even the most frugal pregnant woman is sure to pick up a few new items to accommodate the expanding waistline. Is there anything else that makes pregnancy easier? Or any pieces of “maternity gear” that are just a waste of money and resources? Let us know!



  1. Those giant S pillows… I don’t know how anyone lived past month 8 without those. I got a lot more sleep and was a lot more pleasant every morning after I borrowed one of those. If I can’t borrow one next time around, I will pay whatever it takes.

  2. I got one of those memory foam mattress toppers. They are horrid for the environment but did mean that I could walk for my whole pregnancy and didn’t require any physical therapy.

    I also got a pair of jeans from Gap maternity. They had a nice wide band at the top and I lived in those. I spent a little more than I generally do on maternity wear but I could dress them up or down and they hid dirt nicely. I also got a pair of pants that rolled into capris so they took me through late winter and spring wonderfully.

  3. I also loved the pregnancy pillow (my Husband called it the Dragon), but only for a few months in the middle. I had a little ‘crib’ pillow from Ikea that I tucked under one side of my back. I lived without a pregnancy coat (in a New England Winter) but wish I had a plain black skirt. Next time. A new well fitting bra is a must. And slip on shoes.

  4. I did the ol’ rubberband trick to keep my pre-preggo jeans useful for a little longer. I also used a belly band.

    I waited too long to get a good pair of maternity jeans. Worth the money — you’ve gotta still feel and look good!

  5. The bellyband has my top vote! You can wear your regular jeans for SO long in it, and even after when things are just not back to normal yet. And a chiropractor!

  6. Yup, definitely the maternity jeans and the body pillow. Epsom salt baths felt sooo good and helped my body relax and sleep a little better; cheap, too.

  7. maternity jeans and one good maternity top that has doubled as a nursing top. I am still using both of them now with a 4 month old baby. That was about it.

  8. I cannot sleep without body pillow and a good pair of sandals (or shoes if it is not summer in California) for my swollen legs!

  9. I also vote for a body pillow….I couldn’t live without one! Other than that, I got a variety of clothes at consignment stores.

  10. Here’s another vote for the body pillow. It’s been almost six years since I was last pregnant but I do remember the body pillow being a sleep-saver (well, maybe a sleep-helper hehe).

  11. I could not have lived without the Bella band. I bought two of them (both were colors that were being discontinued, so they were pretty cheap, like $15 each, and I didn’t care about the color because my top almost always covered them), and I wore one every single day of my pregnancy from about 16 weeks on. I also wore them for many weeks post partum. Even pregnancy jeans wouldn’t fit right (wouldn’t stay on) without them until very late in my pregnancy.

  12. I’m in my 7th month of pregancy and I agree that I couldn’t live without the body pillow (I use a snoogle by leachco) and a belly band. I also really liked preggy pop drops to help with morning sickness at the beginning.

  13. My chiropractor, my doula and my gouchos (for my summer baby, lol) I couldn’t live without those 3 things!

  14. I’m with most everyone else…Bella band, body pillow and a good pair of maternity jeans. I didn’t purchase an actual body pillow, I just used a standard king-sized pillow (I’m short). The Bella band is great because, until your behind gets too big, you can continue to wear your normal pants thus saving money on maternity clothes. The jeans are just a must for anyone.

    Last time I was pregnant was mainly in the summer, so I have a lot of tank tops, etc. This time I will be mostly big in the winter, so I decided to keep wearing the cute tanks and just pair them with a cardigan or jacket (pre-pregnancy clothes).

  15. Belly Ups are my “cant live without” product. They are these little suspenders that attach from your bra to your waistband and keep your maternity pants up! I dont know about you girls, but I am constantly hiking my under the belly pants up and these little clips have eliminated that problem for me totally! I think im going to wear them when im not pregnant too!

  16. All the bras I had pre-babe were already a bit snug to begin with. Tight straps and digging under wire was so uncomfortable.Bra shopping during pregnancy was a challenge to say the least. Today I bought the Milana Lace Genie bra, and Oh My! This is a miracle I’d been searching for to ease my aching bosoms. Tell you what, this bra is supportive,comfortable and fashionable. I’d have to say that this is a maternity necessity.

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